Licensed growers who want to sell cannabis clones in British Columbia are going to have to wait – or look to other markets – because the provincial wholesaler has neither immediate plans nor the ability to distribute those products to retailers.
“The Liquor Distribution Branch’s (LDB) distribution centre is not equipped to receive, store or ship clones, as they require significant resources and care to ensure product quality for the end customer,” an LDB spokesperson told Marijuana Business Daily.
The LDB is the monopoly wholesale distributor of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia, responsible for procuring products for private and government-run retailers and the province’s sole online sales channel.
“The only way clones could be made available to the (British Columbia) market would be for licensed producers to ship clones directly to customers, however, under current provincial legislation, licensed producers are not permitted to sell/ship clones directly to customers,” the spokesperson said.
The LDB offers a limited selection of highly-priced seeds.
The only province to sell marijuana cones so far is Newfoundland.
Natural MedCo’s Eve brand – a company that bills itself as “Canada’s premier cannabis brand for all women” – was the first company to get its clones to market in late 2018.
Saskatchewan is set to become the second province to carry clones.
The Flowr Corporation, a federally licensed cultivator headquartered in Toronto, delivered its first shipment of clones in that province via the wholesale and distribution company Railway Distributing.
Ontario’s cannabis wholesaler has issued a call for new product categories – including for clones.
“The (Ontario Cannabis Store) is seeking to procure clones for both OCS.ca and private retail stores,” a spokesperson said.
“As part of its recent product call, the OCS asked Health Canada-authorized cannabis producers to identify their ability to supply a wide variety of cannabis products, including clones and seeds.”
Industry sources estimate the adult-use home-grow market could be on par with the alcohol home-brew industry down the road, valuing it at hundreds of millions of dollars.
Experts say there is significant demand in the niche home-grow market, however thus far growth has been stunted by highly-priced, inconsistent inventory of cannabis starting materials and slow or uncooperative provincial regulators.
The Flowr Corporation’s shares are traded on the Toronto Venture Exchange as FLWR.